Rejoice. And be free. {My testimony at BiS}

Rejoice. And be free. {My testimony at BiS}

Several weeks ago, when I saw the request, “Can anyone write the devotion for March 7?” it was as if something supernatural compelled me to respond in the affirmative despite my crazy schedule. “I will,” I responded, half-cringing and silently chiding myself for my lack of self-restraint. But then I read the Mass readings upon which I would write my reflection: “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” from the Psalm, and the story of the Prodigal Son – and I almost laughed out loud.

I shook my head with disbelief and then a knowing smile. Man, I thought. I guess it’s time to share my story. Okay, God. Here we go.

Today I share a little piece of my story – a glimpse into how I was seeking God in all the wrong places, yet He beckoned me to journey more closely with Him in spite of my rebellious sinfulness and doubt. 

What He said next forever changed me. Referring to His saving mercy, His redemptive suffering, His unique and total love for me, a wretched sinner, He imparted this command: “RejoiceAnd be free.”

I welcome you to read the rest of today’s reflection at my home-away-from-home.

God bless you as you seek to rejoice in Him, and be free.



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Broken Together

Broken Together

Over the course of our 14 years together, my husband and I have endured many extraordinarily low valleys and some very high mountain-top experiences. Two imperfect souls bound together for life is not all sunshine and roses, my friends, but neither is it all grief-stricken lament! Somewhere, and completely by the grace of God, in the middle of the hardest days, we find joy. Somewhere in the muck we choose to forgive 70 x 7 and continue down this path to holiness we’re on. We again pick up our crosses with as much love as we can muster and follow Him.

No song about marriage has ever struck me more deeply to the core than this haunting piece by contemporary Christian artists Casting Crowns. Grab your box of Kleenex, friends, because this song takes no prisoners.

Broken Together by Casting Crowns

What do you think about when you look at me
I know we’re not the fairy tale you dreamed we’d be
You wore the veil, you walked the aisle, you took my hand
And we dove into a mystery

How I wish we could go back to simpler times
Before all our scars and all our secrets were in the light
Now on this hallowed ground, we’ve drawn the battle lines
Will we make it through the night?

It’s going to take much more than promises this time
Only God can change our minds

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we’ll last forever is broken together

How it must have been so lonely by my side
We were building kingdoms and chasing dreams and left love behind
I’m praying God will help our broken hearts align
And we won’t give up the fight

It’s going to take much more than promises this time
Only God can change our minds

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we’ll last forever is broken together

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we’ll last forever is broken together

Songwriters
HALL, JOHN MARK / HERMS, BERNIE

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Christ the Healer | Blessed is She

Christ the Healer | Blessed is She

2014Jan21ChristTheHealer

Today, I’m over at Blessed as She talking about Jesus’ healing power. Here’s a sneak peek:

In Jesus’ time, thousands sought healing in the midst of their pain and affliction. They sought Him. And, over and over again, Jesus welcomed them, touched and healed them; He loved them without condition and showered them with mercy.

Read more here!

God bless y’all.

-H

Edel the First

Edel the First

*Originally written August 5 (which is like 13 years ago or something in online time), this post has been aging, like a cheap fine wine, as I impatiently waited for my blog to be released from, ahem, WordPress Purgatory. But that’s another story for another day.

Surprise, surprise – I am late to the Edel after-party!!

Friends, I have started this post in my mind a thousand times. And I just. couldn’t. write. it. Couldn’t. Could. Not.

Reality hit like a ton of bricks the Monday after the conference – so much so that I was inspired to at least write *something* –The Catholic Mom’s “Drop-Kicked Into Reality” Prayer.

And yet …

So many amazing and talented women had already written eloquently and, according to the Facebook comments, really, really beautifully about what happened in Austin last month. I intentionally didn’t read all these incredible blog posts because I was waiting, as I tend to do, for the perfect time – the perfect time to write out my many, swirling thoughts, and then the perfect time to savor everyone else’s. I was waiting. For perfection.

I hadn’t blogged in almost three years, which basically means, in Internet-speak, that I hadn’t blogged since 1864. I obviously needed to update my blog. PANIC!! How can I invite people over to this space?! It doesn’t look or feel right! I need new drapes … or buttons. Something. And content? Lord Jesus! I need time to ponder. I need to think. I need to go out at night, under the cloak of darkness, away from my home, away from the chaos, so I can concentrate. I need to go to Adoration. Okay, the needing Adoration part is almost ALWAYS TRUE. BUT STILL.

And then, somewhere between the piles of dirty laundry (dear God – where does it ennnnd?) and the stacks of filthy dishes, and the fact that school starts next week (whaaaaaat???) I had a moment of clarity, and I finally remembered probably the most important thing I realized at Edel:

God does not want me to be perfect. He just. wants. me.

He wants the me who just shrunk all her new shirts because she forgot they were 100% cotton. He wants the me who procrastinates because the timing (or the something, and the other something, and the something else) isn’t quite right. He wants the me who says awkward things at inappropriate times. He wants the me that is too loud. He wants the me who crashes the dance floor in flip-flops because her shoe strap snapped. He wants the me that is broken, and unsure, and wounded, and spends too much time on Facebook. He wants the me that encourages and prays and stands up on her chair when amazing homeschooling Moms do the robot and the me who shouts, “Amen!” during Marion’s talk.

He wants the me who can still close down a bar with the best of ’em. The me who is often drowning in priorities and diapers and is both confident and hesitant. And friendly and shy and who likes to laugh (again, loudly). He wants the woman who was excited to have a break yet felt very, very guilty for going and almost didn’t. The one who had so much fun live-tweeting during the talks yet admittedly hid behind her self-appointed task so she wouldn’t cry (too much) when the points about being isolated and alone struck too close to home.

He wants all of that. And more. The good, the bad, and the ugly. He wants Heather, His beloved daughter. Heather the wife. Heather the mother. He wants it all. He wants and loves ME.

And still, despite this mini-epiphany, I didn’t write. Womp, womp. Have I learned nothing??! Did I mention it takes me a while?! Late bloomers unite …

So, in a flurry of, “Yes, Lord, I surrender this all to you,” that happened on this very day*, I write this imperfect post – my first third on my own blog since November 2011 (sweet fancy Moses – did they even have the Internet back then??) I decided that, if I don’t write this thing today, it was just not going to get written. So, this post isn’t anywhere near perfect, and in that respect, it is a perfectly accurate reflection of its author.

And there you have it. For now, at least. There are so many more things I want to say – about Edel, and life, and … I may just have to write about them all. Soon. In His timing.

God bless y’all.

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Sweet moments

Sweet moments

I wanted to share a few sweet moments experienced over the past few days. They’ve provide me with some desperately needed consolation that has helped me get through some otherwise potentially devastating stuff. Instead of focusing on the “stuff,” I’d rather thank God for His love for me. Thank you, Lord!!

  • My youngest child spontaneously said, “I wuv you” for the first time today.
  • I was able to share something incredibly painful, a long-held secret, with someone for the first time ever.
  • My eldest child and I had a blast at the church school’s musical, WIPEOUT!
  • I enjoyed a wonderful bowl of Hungarian mushroom soup with two dear friends.
  • My youngest child, when asked his name, emphatically replied: “Beep beep” – more than once.
  • While singing the “Gloria” at Mass, I got goosebumps and knew the Holy Spirit was on the scene.
  • Most importantly, today is Pentacost – my absolute favorite Feast after Easter and Christmas. Veni Sancte Spiritus!
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